At the direction of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Wind Energy Technologies Office, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are jointly leading the U.S. Offshore Wind Synthesis of Environmental Effects Research (SEER) project, a multi-year collaborative effort designed to facilitate knowledge transfer for offshore wind environmental research around the world.
Through significant stakeholder outreach and engagement efforts, the SEER team identified a set of research topics pertinent to offshore wind development on the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. The SEER team is now developing a corresponding set of educational research briefs that synthesize key issues, identify existing knowledge gaps, and prioritize future research needs.
As part of this effort, the SEER team hosted a series of free, public webinars that presented findings from the briefs and featured panel discussions with subject matter experts, followed by question-and-answer periods. The final webinar will cover topics related to: Electromagnetic Field Effects on Marine Life & Presence of Vessels: Effects of Vessel Collision on Marine Life.
During the Electromagnetic Field Effects on Marine Life session, Mark Severy, P.E. (PNNL) presented the existing understanding of potential effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) on marine life in offshore wind areas. The webinar summarized how some species sense and respond to EMF and will then focus on how EMF from offshore wind farms may interact with marine life. Dr. Andrew Gill (Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science) and Dr. Zoe Hutchison (University of St. Andrews) participated in the event as subject matter experts during the panel discussion.
During the Presence of Vessels: Effects of Vessel Collision on Marine Life session, Dr. Alicia Mahon (PNNL) summarized the potential impacts of the presence of vessels on marine mammals and sea turtles, with a focus on vessel collision risk. As this risk is not specific to offshore wind development, a general review of vessel collision risk for marine mammals and sea turtles within the maritime industry was presented. The webinar discussed the potential risk of vessel collision during all phases of the wind farm lifecycle. Ms. Jessica Morten (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and Mr. Cotton Rockwood (Point Blue Conservation Science) participated in the event as subject matter experts during the panel discussion.
The webinar recording is available below:
- SEER Webinar #3: SEER Webinar #3: Bat and Bird Interactions with Offshore Wind Energy, Online, 8 February 2022
- SEER Webinar #2: SEER Webinar #2: Effects of Offshore Wind Farm Structures on Fish Ecology & Benthic Disturbance, Online, 15 December 2021